Reverse commerce: How SMEs can profit from recycling old IT

Posted On April 22, 2016

Despite the growing popularity of the virtual currency Bitcoin, cash is still king for most businesses, especially SMEs where profit margins are often tighter than large companies. Could recycling your old IT be the cash flow boost your business needs?


Winning new business, cutting fixed and variable costs and restructuring your business can help improve cash flow. But many UK SMEs are overlooking an easy way to raise funds, a hassle-free way to comply with environmental regulations – and help the planet.

The UK market for “reverse commerce” (selling gadgets including mobile phones laptops and other IT equipment for recycling) is growing.

But UK SMEs are poorly served by most electronic recycling services which often don’t pay customers for their kit or pay very little. Not all recycling centres accept electrical equipment. It’s a neglected market.

Cash in on old IT

Fortunately, there is an alternative. New technology is modernising recycling services, giving business customers better value and making them easier to use.

Cash in your gadgets is helping hundreds of UK businesses of all sizes quickly turn their old technology back in to cash.

Customers enter details about their old laptops, desktop computers, phones, tablets digital cameras or even games consoles on our web site. We’ll give you a quote, collect old IT and gadgets for free, pay for packing, and destroy any data on the IT kit in compliance with UK and European regulations on the environment and data security.

Prices depend on the make, condition and technical specifications of the IT equipment. A five-year old laptop that was a high-range model when purchased may have a value of up to £150. Average pay-out for laptops is around £60.

Prices for phones also vary but Apple and Samsung smartphones can be worth more than £100.

Data Security

It’s unclear exactly how many UK companies sell and recycle their old IT equipment but research suggests that most send their old IT to landfill rather than having it collected, reused or recycled.

Every year the average household in the UK spends around £800 on new electrical and electronic goods, according to The Waste and Resources Action Programme, a UK charity. Less than 10% of goods sent to landfill are re-used, despite the fact that much of it either still works or could be repaired.

We reckon that the average UK SME has at least a dozen or so bits of old IT kit gathering dust in cupboards and draws − meaning that they could collectively be missing out on tens or hundreds of millions of pounds by not re-selling their old IT.

Perhaps more importantly, businesses risk losing sensitive customer data if they don’t wipe customer and other data before of disposing of old IT. They may also be fined if they break regulations including the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEE) UK law on the disposal of electrical and electronic equipment, including business IT.

Your data is safe with us. We comply with all the main environmental and data protection laws. We can also wipe data from your machines when we buy them (hard drives are overwritten with data three times and we give you a “data wipe” certificate showing the hard drives individual serial number, the method of data wiping and date of erasure.)

That said, we advise our customers with highly sensitive data to wipe data on the IT equipment themselves, or destroy their hard drives. Be careful, though. Simply pressing “delete” after putting an item in the recycling bin on your laptop does not destroy the data.

“We’ve used Cash in your Gadgets on numerous occasions to recycle old laptops and other electronics. The service is very easy to use and much more customer friendly than any other business IT recycling service we’ve used in the past.”

Clive F, IT Manager, Protega Paints, West Bromwich, UK

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